We narrowed the hundreds of 1000 watt LED grow lights down to the 4 best. All 4 of these lights are excellent. Which one is right for you depends on your personal needs and preferences. This post will help you decide.
1000 Watt LED Grow Light Comparison Table
|Brand||Cirrus||NextLight||California Lightworks||Black Dog LED|
|Actual Wattage||500||650||475 - 680||630|
|Spectrum||full-spectrum with UVA and IR||full-spectrum white||full-spectrum + UVB||full-spectrum with UVA and IR|
|Coverage Area||5 by 5||5 by 5||4 by 4||5.5 by 5.5|
|Best Feature||lowest power use and heat||coverage and penetration||UV-B bulbs||coverage and penetration|
|Weakness||price||only white LEDs||coverage||no customization|
|Get it if you want...||
most advanced LED technology
full-spectrum white light
supplemental UVB light
the best output per watt
Factors to Consider When Buying a 1000 Watt LED Plant Light
This is the actual amount of electricity the fixture will use. Two of the lights featured here always use the same wattage, while the other two have a range. That's because they give you some control over the spectrum.
During the vegetative stage of growth, for example, plants don't need as much light as they do during flowering. A fixture that lets you turn off LEDs (or dial back their intensity) when they are not needed will save you money in electricity costs.
There are two factors to consider here: the color of the light and how customizable it is.
1. White LEDs vs. Colored LEDs
First it should be noted that the fixtures using colored LED lights also have some white LEDs in the mix. But the NextLight Mega uses ONLY white LEDs.
And depending on whom you ask, fixtures using only full-spectrum white LEDs are either amazing or completely worthless.
Here are the two sides:
Pro White Light
Proponents of all-white LED grow lights say their spectrum is the most natural, since it is very similar to the sun. It basically gives you the same light as an HPS bulb combined with a metal-halide bulb. In other words: an HPS spectrum with additional blue light.
HPS light has proven to work well and plants obviously love sunlight, so it only makes sense that white LED light is the best way to go. And it does work, just like the HPS and MH light it replaces.
And white light has one more advantage—one that is very important to some people. Your plants look natural under white light, so it is much easier to inspect them and to notice any discolorations, etc. This can be quite difficult under pink light.
Against White Light
Opponents of white light point out that it's mostly made up of green and yellow light, which is used only minimally by plants and thus mostly goes to waste. This is fine for the sun, since it is an unlimited supply of free light. But when YOU'RE footing the bill, wouldn't it be better to not pay for all that wasted light?
So, which side of this debate are you on? If you prefer all-white light, the NextLight is the fixture for you. If you prefer a mix of colors, you can safely ignore the NextLight.
2. Customizable Spectrum
Some lights have separate modes for veg and bloom and some, like the Cirrus T series lights, give you complete control over the spectrum.
The advantage of this is a lower electricity bill. Plants don't need as much light during vegging as they do during flowering and they need even less during cloning. Being able to dial back the amount of light means you use less power.
But there's a flip side. Some of those savings are offset by a longer grow cycle. When you change the color spectrum mid-grow, plants get a shock and suffer from growth stalling for up to two weeks. Switching modes on an LED light will not cause an overly long period of stalled growth, but you can count on a few days' delay.
During this time, you will have to pay for electricity to run the lights and for nutrients to feed the plants. This won't make up for the savings you get from switching the color spectrum, but a shorter grow time is very important to some. Furthermore, fixtures with only one mode are obviously much easier to operate—just turn it on and forget about it.
1000w LED fixtures generally have an output equal to 900 watts of HPS light, despite what many manufacturers claim.
For our ratings, we gave 4 stars to the fixtures whose intensity is about equal to 900 HPS watts and 5 stars for an intensity equal to a 1000 watt HPS bulb.
The Cirrus T500 is actually more powerful than the rest. It is basically equivalent to a 1200 watt HID light.
Again, almost all manufacturers claim their LED light penetrates as deeply below the canopy as HPS light, but that is rarely the case. We gave 5 stars to lights that equal the penetration of an HPS bulb and 4 stars if they fall just short.
This is the area in feet that the light will cover during flowering. During vegging, they can cover an additional two feet. So a light that covers 4 by 4 feet during flowering will cover 6 by 6 feet during vegging.
The 4 Best 1000 Watt Horticultural LED Lights
Cirrus T500 — Most Advanced Technology on the Market
The Cirrus T500 (link goes to our full review) is brand-new and one of the most technologically advanced lights on the market. It is also at least 20% more powerful than the other 3 lights. It was previously known as the Titan 5, so you will sometimes still see it referred to by that name.
Among its many groundbreaking features, the most notable is the proprietary mCOB array.
This unique COB technology was designed to maximize power and efficiency and the result is an actual power usage of only 500 watts in a light that equals the output of a 1200 watt HPS system. It also has the lowest heat output of any light this size
- Lowest power usage of any light this size
- Incredibly low heat output of 1400 BTU (compared to 2100+ for its competitors)
- Each COB emits full spectrum light, so every part of your plants gets the same light makeup
- ability to customize everything from any Android or iOS device using the included app
- high price (to be fair, it is over 20% more powerful than the other 3 lights)
- as a new light, it does not have the same track record of success as lights that have been on the market for a while
- the heaviest light on this list at 52 pounds (due to extra large heat sinks)
NextLight Mega — Best Full-Spectrum White LED Grow Light
A part of NextLight's commercial series, the Mega (link goes to full review) delivers an output equal to a double ended 1000 watt HPS light, but with a spectrum that contains more blue than HPS. In fact, the NextLight spectrum is very similar to natural sunlight and thus works well throughout all grow cycles.
- 5 by 5 foot coverage area—the largest among 1000w equivalent LEDs
- PPF—the most output per watt among all full-spectrum LED lights
- Deep canopy penetration—equal to a 1000 watt DE HPS bulb
- Low heat output—no internal fans, so completely silent
- LEDs rated for 100,000 hours—the longest among LED fixtures
- Great warranty
- Only white LEDs (may be a positive to some)
- No customization (same spectrum all the time)
- Not the best return policy
California Lightworks SolarStorm 880 — Only Fixture With UV-B Light
California Lightworks (link to full product review) manufacture their lights entirely in the US from American and German parts. Their lights are exceptionally high quality and they enjoy a stellar reputation in the industry as a result. Like the other lights on this list, they do not make bogus or exaggerated claims about their lights.
- Top-bin 5 watt Osram diodes—high power for penetration and intensity equal to HPS
- T8 fluorescent UV-B bulbs—increases resin production and THC levels
- Veg and bloom modes—uses less power during veg and save money
- High price—you're paying extra for the UVB bulbs, which is only good if you want them
- Coverage area is a bit smaller than the other 3 lights
Black Dog PhytoMax-2 600 — Best Multi-Band Full Spectrum Light
Black Dog is the most honest LED company. This light uses 630 actual watts, so they named it the PhytoMax-2 600 (link to full review). Other companies would have called it the PhytoMax-2 1000. Despite the 600 in the name, this light is easily equivalent to 1000 watts of HPS power and is actually the most powerful fixture on this list.
- Uses only 5 watt diodes—powerful light that matches HPS in intensity and penetration
- 5.5 by 5.5 foot coverage—larger than any equivalent light
- Amazing heat management—despite 5 watt diodes, emits similar amount of heat to competitors (except the Titan)
- No customization (same spectrum for all stages)
- High price
- Warranty and return policy not quite as good as CLW